Castle Hill National Historic Site

View of Castle Hill National Historic Site
Castle Hill Solider
Castle Hill Cannon

As you explore the remains of French and English fortifications at Castle Hill National Historic Site, the view of Placentia Bay below constantly reminds you of the site's strategic significance.

Founded in 1662, Placentia or Plaisance as the French named it, was established to protect French fishing interests in Newfoundland and was the French capital of Newfoundland during the 17th and 18th centuries. From Plaisance, French forces successfully raided British settlements during times of war while Fort Royal, atop Castle Hill, protected the colony from attack by British warships.

In 1713, the French gave up their right to settlement in Newfoundland and established a new stronghold at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island. British settlers replaced the French and their soldiers garrisoned the fortifications until 1811.

Today, the ruins of these fortifications stand as a reminder of Newfoundland's colonial heritage and the historic significance of the Atlantic fishery.

The military and cultural significance of Castle Hill is well documented and presented at the Visitor Centre. Staff will guide you through the exhibit area telling the story of French and English settlement. The option of a self-guided audio tour to the outside fortifications is also available. During the summer months, a theatrical performance, Faces of Fort Royal, gives an entertaining glimpse into colonial life.

Cape St. Mary's

For visitors arriving via the Marine Atlantic Ferry – the Argentia ferry terminal is just 5 minutes away, and about 30 minutes away in Ship Harbour is where Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt met to plan strategy during World War II. About an hour away is the famous Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve with its summer resident population of several thousand northern gannets and other seabirds.

Getting Here:

Castle Hill National Historic Site is located in Placentia is only 1 hour west of St. John's and just 5 minutes from the Argentia Marine Atlantic Ferry Terminal.

For more information visit the Parks Canada official website for Castle Hill National Historic Site of Canada

Location data provided by the operator. Please confirm location
before departure.


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Driving distances and calculations derived using Google Maps. Actual driving times may vary. GPS coordinates have been provided by tourism operators. Please confirm location with operator before departure.